THE UNMARKED GRAVE
Mace's new memorial in Liverpool
Jem Mace died in Jarrow on November 30 1910. On December 6, at Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool, he was laid to rest in a grave with no headstone and only a perfunctory numerical marker.

Though he had died penniless, a fitting memorial could easily have been subscribed by any of numerous wealthy persons who, in his lifetime, he had splendidly entertained. But Jem Mace did not fit the need for a gentlemanly hero of English sport.

Unlike England's cricket captain C.B. Fry, Mace was not educated at Repton and Oxford. He was the son of a roving rural working man and, deprived of all education, remained illiterate for the first 30 years of his life.
Stigmatised -- whether accurately or not -- as a gypsy, his early life as a travelling violinist, his background in the 'sinful' world of the circus and his empathy with and appeal to women evoked the resentment of the righteous -- who were only too keen for him to be speedily forgotten.

It would take until the next century for a proper memorial to be placed at the grave, thanks to the Merseyside Former Boxers Association.